Festivals: Mesa County Fair

The Mesa County Fair, held July - this year, is switching things up this year, hoping to generate excitement about the Grandstand entertainment acts by bringing Bill Engvall to the fair on Tuesday. The traditional fireworks show has been moved to Saturday, where promoters hope the fireworks will end the fair with a big bang.

Engvall is a hugely popular comedian and television personality who was part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. His first album, “Here’s Your Sign,” was certified platinum and held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Comedy Chart for 15 weeks.

“We thought we should try a comedian,” said Landon Balding with Monumental Events, the promoter for the show. Since the fair already has musical acts on other stages at the fair, Monumental Events wanted to try something different, that would get people excited about the fair. When considering appropriate acts, the promoters wanted to bring a comedian who was family-friendly.

“We thought about Jeff Foxworthy,” Balding said. “Both relate to an agricultural audience. Bill Engvall’s personality fits the theme of the fair,” Balding said.

In addition to his stand-up comedy work, Engvall also starred in the Bill Engvall Show, in which Jennifer Lawrence played his sitcom daughter from 2007 to 2009, and was a contestant on the 2013 season of Dancing with the Stars.

“We’re excited that we have one of the top comedians in the country coming to Grand Junction,” Balding said.

Promoters expect the show will be sold out, so get your tickets early. Tickets are available at the Mesa County Fair website and Sutherlands.

The fair is also bringing back the hugely popular bull-riding event on Friday night.

“We try to get the best riders that we can,” said Annie Mortensen, who, along with her husband, Judd, operates Rocky Mountain Bull Bash, an event production company that brings PBR events to several venues in the Rocky Mountains, including the Mesa County Fair.

“This is the only PBR event on the Western Slope other than Steamboat Springs on Labor Day,” said Mortensen, who said that it’s not difficult to attract top riders to the fair, simply because it’s Colorado in the summertime. “We usually have a good turnout of riders, and we try to provide other things for the riders to do when they’re out there.”

Rafting and fly-fishing are just two of the other Western Slope recreational opportunities that make the fair an attractive stop for professional cowboys.

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